Messianic Rabbi: One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

by | Feb 23, 2021 | Bible Study

One of the things I love about the Bible is that every time that you read a book, chapter or even a verse, you can find something that you never noticed before. When I study, I read with the purpose or intention of finding things that are missed because, while they are an important part of the greater biblical narrative, they are often lost within the context of the text of which they are a part.

I came across one such example this week while reading Exodus 25:12-15 (TLV):

“You are to cast four rings of gold for it, and place them in its four feet. Two rings will be on one side, and two rings on the other side. Also make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. You are to put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, in order to carry the Ark. The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it.”

These verses are a part of the instructions that G-D provided to Moses as he prepared to supervise the building of the tabernacle. Specifically, these verses are a portion of the description of how to build the ark of the covenant. From these words, we can imagine just how beautiful the ark was: built of wood covered in gold with intricate ornamentation. The ark’s elegance is conveyed in such detail that, when we come to the verse above, they seem almost unimportant compared to the verses that surround them.

After all, these verses only speak about the rings and poles used to carry the ark. They are merely functional and utilitarian, and not very meaningful compared to the ark, which would become the home to the tablets of stone engraved by the very finger of G-D, or the atonement cover, often referred to as the mercy seat.

Or are these rings and poles more important and meaningful than a simple reading would imply? When we read about these rings and poles, the wording is very similar to the wording used to describe the rings and poles for the table of the bread of His presence (Ex. 25:27-28), the altar of sacrifice (Ex. 27:4-7), and the altar of incense (Ex. 30:4-5).

But there is one significant difference between the wording concerning the ark above and the instructions given for the other three pieces of furniture noted above. That difference is found in Exodus 25:15: “The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it.”

This commandment that the poles should not be taken from or removed from the ark of the covenant is unique to this single piece of furniture. This seemingly insignificant difference is easy to overlook as we read, but it may contain symbolism that isn’t only relevant to the Israelites of that day, but also may be of great importance and value to us as believers today.

Let’s look a little deeper. The commandment specifically required two poles. These poles could represent the two parts of the nation Israel: Judah, the lower kingdom, and Israel, the upper kingdom. Or they could represent the two parts of the covenant: the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

Or, maybe they represent humanity made up of Jews and Gentiles. I believe the poles are meant to represent Jews and Gentiles because the other two don’t fully fit. When the commandment was given to Moses, the nation had not been divided yet, and at that time, the only covenant that had been given was the Torah, written on the tablets that were commanded to be placed inside of the ark within the same chapter.

But, does the idea of it representing Jews and Gentiles fit the symbolism? Well, wood in the Bible often represents humanity. In this case, it’s encased within gold representing G-D’s covering. These poles had one specific purpose, and that was to carry the ark which contained the word of G-D, the two tablets of stone. Well, the idea that the poles would represent Jews, or Israelites, makes sense because they were chosen by G-D to carry and preserve the Word of G-D.

But, what about the Gentiles? If we look back to Exodus 12, we find that a mixed multitude left Egypt along with the children of Israel and both the Israelites and the mixed multitude together heard G-D speak from the mountain, and they all together entered into covenant with G-D at Mount Sinai. So, it does fit and make sense to see the two poles in terms of one being the Jewish people and one the Gentiles, who had committed together to carry the covenant of G-D.

If this symbolic picture is correct, then we see that G-D commanded those who would carry His covenant to never be removed from the ark itself. Why so specific that the poles not be removed from the ark when no such commandment was given concerning the other pieces of furniture? I believe that this commandment to not remove the poles from the ark was a prophetic warning that those carrying the ark should never be separated from the ark and its contents.

However, over the centuries since, that is exactly what happened. Both Jewish and Gentile followers of G-D have, in a real way, removed themselves from the Ark and the complete covenant that it represented. The Jewish people held strongly onto the Tanakh and the covenants within its pages, and the Gentiles held onto the Brit Chadashah and the New Covenant. Instead of both groups remaining attached to the fullness of G-D’s covenants contained in both the Tanakh and Brit Chadashah, we see thousands of years of division and separation.

The warning provided in Exodus 25:15 was ignored as the two poles were removed from the ark. But the good news is that in these last days, we have seen a restoration of the unity of Jewish believers and Gentile believers as they are becoming the one new man spoken of in Ephesians 2.

Not only are the poles being restored to their place of attachment to the ark, but the body of believers is restored to carry the covenant of G-D. Other promises contained within the ark are also restored: Aaron’s rod that budded, representing life from the dead, and the bowl of manna, representing G-D’s miraculous provision for His people.

But, unless the poles remain connected to the ark carrying the covenant, G-D’s people cannot carry the covenant, life from the dead and miraculous provision to those who desperately need them. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about...
Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

Pin It on Pinterest